We have interviewed Giusy Balzano, founder and fashion designer of Constància Bags, in order to understand how a young brand managed to hold on (and relaunch) after such a tuff year for the leather industry.
Among the customization of products, the e-commerce openings and the attention to sustainability, that is how Constància Bags looks forward to the future...and the present!
How has your company reacted to the impact of Covid-19?
The Constància brand came to be about two and a half years ago, after the initial long months of sampling, development, material research, and the fine-tuning of every creation’s detail: 2020 was supposed to be the year of the actual launch and starting point, also through trade fairs, events, and other already planned initiatives.
Unfortunately, all this was suddenly held back by the global pandemic, yet despite this I didn’t give up, and with tenacity and “constancy” I took advantage of this stalemate period to select e-commerce platforms that I could collaborate with, as well as designing a new collection with photo shoots and an official catalogue to keep the growth of the brand active despite many economic sacrifices. In keeping with my way of acting/thinking, it is fundamental to face times of crisis with positivity and determination, always looking forward.
This attitude was mainly stimulated by the constant growth of the tanning sector, the “mother of Constància - the production and sale of vegetable tanned full grain leathers and cowhides. Our activity did not suffer any negative numbers concerning Covid-19 since, through our online platforms, we managed to process orders that were placed in Italy and around the world, even during the first lockdown.
How much has the customization and quality of the products determined the retention and/or renewal of your client base?
My brand aims to set itself apart from mass and industrial production. This is why high-quality leather and accessories, customization, and attention to “truly handcrafted” detail are an integral and fundamental part of the project. I believe that real luxury is being able to afford choosing something unique that reflects our true personality. As a result, it is produced and developed together with the final client, who can start by choosing the colour of the leather and finish with the various possible customizations. This enables clients to stay up to date in that niche of people who prefer their “own object” to an expensive yet commercial one.
Your company already has a green footprint, since it works with ecological materials. Do you think that the pandemic will confirm the trend of using ecological/sustainable materials?
Our green footprint begins at the source: a decades-long tradition of producing vegetable-tanned and natural leather in Tuscany, the home of real leather. It all begins with leathers sourced from food chain waste (where waste material is transformed, giving it a second life, and granting it a luxury and a value in the production of the final article), which are tanned with vegetable tannins derived from plants and animal fats. In my humble opinion, it is necessary to the future of the new generations, well beyond the current pandemic, to always support a low ecological impact and to understand the substantial difference between real leather and other products. I myself have been confronted with requests from clients for my creations produced in faux leather, not knowing that faux leather is the same as plastic!!